Ki vs Chakras – what are they? And what is the difference between ki and chakra?

Ki and chakra (see which religion Chakra comes from) are terms you might have come across online or in conversation.

Both are linked to energy, and the flow of energy, and have become more popular in recent years as terms used in spiritualism, yoga, naturopathy, and other New Age practices.

The meanings behind ki and chakra can be ambiguous, depending on the context within which the words are used and who is using them.

In this guide, however, we will explain the fundamental meanings behind these concepts, as well as the differences and similarities between the two.

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The Differences Between Ki and Chakra

What Is Ki?

Ki, qi, or ch’i is a term used in Chinese philosophy and Chinese medicine.

The origin of the word can be dated back to the 5th century BCE, from which it has been used to describe energy, or, in other words, life force.

Ki refers to energy and life force, as well as flow or circulation of these – specifically around the body.

Believers in ki believe that ki flows throughout the body, providing balance and stability.

When the flow of ki is interrupted, or blocked, it can result in physical and emotional problems, depending on where the disruption is.

Ki vs Chakra

Ki And The Chinese Meridian System

In Chinese medicine, ki governs overall health. The Chinese meridian system, consisting of twelve meridians, can be described as a network through which ki flows.

The twelve meridians are divided into six Yin meridians and six Yang meridians. As a result, it is believed that these meridians must function in perfect opposing harmony for good overall health.

The twelve Chinese meridians are:

  • lungs
  • large intestine
  • stomach
  • spleen or pancreas
  • heart
  • small intestine
  • bladder
  • kidney
  • pericardium, also called heart governor
  • triple warmer/heater (San Jiao)
  • gall bladder
  • liver

The six Yin meridians are the lungs, spleen, heart kidney, pericardium, and liver. The six Yang meridians are the large intestine, stomach, small intestine, bladder, San Jiao, and gall bladder.

When problems arise in any of these areas of the body (or meridians), it is believed to be the result of a ki blockage or ki imbalance.

Restoring the flow of ki is then fixed through treatments such as massages, acupuncture, and other means of alternative medicine.

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What Are Chakras?

Chakra also refers to energy flow, or life force. The word originates from India, and can be dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE.

Chakras are similar to ki in that they represent an energy network in the body.

In Sanskrit, chakra means “wheel” or “disk”, and it is believed that the chakras of the body should remain open and in harmony for good physical health and emotional wellbeing.

These focal points of energy in the body, however, are not the same as those in the Chinese meridian system.

Altogether, there are 114 chakras. Seven of these are considered the main, or “major” chakras, which run along the spine.

Each of the seven main chakras has a number, name, color, and an area of the body that it represents.

Similar to ki, when a particular chakra’s energy flow is blocked or disrupted, it is believed to cause various physical and emotional problems.

The 7 Chakras

Root Chakra

The root chakra is the first chakra, located in the tailbone. It is represented by the color red and associated with stability and grounding – the chakra that supports all else.

Due to its location, the root chakra is linked to physical problems in the colon or bladder, as well as emotional problems such as insecurity, fear, and anxiety.

When the root chakra is in balance, however, one might feel stable, confident, and secure.

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Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is the second chakra, located above the pubic bone. It is represented by the color orange and associated with sexuality, pleasure, and creativity.

Due to its location, the sacral chakra is linked to impotence and urinary problems.

Negative emotions arising from imbalance might be a lack of expression or passion, while positive emotions include sexual excitement, energy, and creativity.

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Solar Plexus Chakra

The solar plexus chakra is the third chakra, located in the upper abdomen. It is represented by the color yellow and associated with confidence and high self-esteem as the “core” chakra.

The location of the solar plexus chakra links it to indigestion, stomach ulcers, and eating disorders.

Emotional problems arising out of imbalance or blockage include a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.

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Heart Chakra

The heart chakra is the fourth, “middle” chakra, located just above the center of the chest.

It is represented by the color green and associated with love, compassion, and kindness.

Any heart, lung, or chest problems are linked to the heart chakra, including feelings of being unloved and lonely.

An unblocked heart chakra would provide feelings of love, warmth, and contentment.

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Throat Chakra

The throat chakra is the fifth chakra, located in the – you guessed it – throat. It is represented by a light blue color and associated with communication and speech.

Due to its location in the neck, the throat chakra is linked to sore throats, speech problems, as well as teeth and gums issues.

An imbalanced or blocked throat chakra might equate to trouble speaking or a speech blunder, with the opposite being clear and confident communication.

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Third Eye Chakra

The third eye chakra is the sixth chakra, located between the eyebrows, or at the bottom of the forehead.

It is represented by the color purple, or dark blue, and linked to intuition and imagination.

As the chakra of sight and the lower head, it is linked to headaches, migraines, eye pain, and inability to see.

As for emotional problems, these can be a clouded mind or a lack of direction in life.

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Crown Chakra

The seventh and final major chakra is the crown chakra, its location being at the crown of the head.

It is represented by the color pink or purple, and associated with intelligence, consciousness, and spirituality.

The crown chakra is not typically linked to any physical pain. An imbalance or blockage in this area might mean a lack of judgement, a lack of spiritual connection, or stubbornness.

Together with the root chakra and heart chakra, it is considered one of the most important chakras to nurture and to look after.

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Chakra vs Ki

Ki and chakra are similar in that they both represent a system of flowing energy in the body.

In addition, when this flow is blocked or out of balance in a specific area, believers of ki and chakra both attribute this to be the cause of various physical and emotional problems.

The big difference between ki and chakra is that ki originated in China, while chakra originated in India.

Ki flows through and connects the twelve meridians of the Chinese meridian system, while chakra flows through and connects the seven chakra energy points.

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